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Course overview

Film Studies is a subject that by its nature requires students to consider individual, moral, ethical, social, cultural and contemporary issues. The syllabus will introduce you to technical film language and film styles developed within an American (Hollywood), British and world cinema context throughout the history of the cinema. This course will enable you to gain a thorough knowledge of the film industry as a social and economic institution, and to deepen your understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of film. Particular emphasis is placed upon visual storytelling and technical film language. Students on this course have been shortlisted for national, international film awards and won several national awards..

YEAR 1
At the root of all film studies is a recognition that films are made: they are constructed using a range of elements - cinematography, mise-en-scene, sound, editing and performance (the key elelments of film form) - which are organised structurally in terms of narrative, and often genre (the structural elements of film form). How filmmakers use these elements, frequently in complex and highly artistic ways, is a large part of what constitutes the formal study of film. Equally important is how we respond to the authorial signature of filmmakers by studying relevant contexts, applying critical approaches and engaging in critical debate. You will look at key movements within Film History and discuss concepts raised within this art form's key practitioners and the social contexts in which they were made.

YEAR 2
You will study the theories, practice of film at a deeper level, and engage in the production of a practical production as you move towards end of year exams. Some of the key areas you will study may include Classical Hollywood Narrative Cinema, Hollywood since the 1960s, Contemporary American independent filmmaking and British film. Your Practical Production will be self-initiated and is an opportunity for you to show real creative flair whilst simultaneously embedding British film industry standard practice. Throughout this project you will have support and guidance from your subject specialist course leader.

What else do I need to know?

The course will require you to see a diverse range of film texts in film theatre houses/multiplex cinemas. Visits to regional/national film hubs include the BFI (British Film Institute) London, Salford Media City and international centres such as London, Paris and Prague (Barrandov film studios), will be offered during the programme. Visiting lecturers have included Oscar winning VFX Director (former NULC student) Pete Bebb ('Inception', 'The Dark Knight Rises', 'Terminator Genysis', 'Ex Machina').

What are the entry requirements?

You will have high overall GCSEs with a minimum of five 9-4 grades, which should include three or more at grade 5 or above. Your GCSEs should include maths and English at a minimum of grade 4.
A high GCSE grade in English is an advantage.

How is it assessed?

You will be assessed throughout the two years of study via frequent in-class tests designed to develop your essay writing and evaluative skills in response to exam board set questions. The first year will culminate in an end of year centre devised and marked exam, preparing you for linear exams in year 2. The overall marks awarded for A Level Film in the second year are weighted at 70% for two exam based modules and 30% for a practical production (short film or original screenplay).

What financial support is on offer?

This course is free for anyone aged 16 – 18. If you are outside this age group please contact 01782 254188.
College Maintenance Allowance (CMA): Anyone with a household income under £21,000 can receive up to £20 per week financial support to help pay for travel and meals and meet the costs of essential trips, books, stationery and equipment. The payments will be subject to full attendance on your course. A range of other financial support is available, depending on your personal circumstances. For more details visit www.nscg.ac.uk/finance

What can I do next?

Successful completion of this course along with other A Levels will give you a great chance of being accepted onto a related university course or one of Newcastle-under-Lyme College’s higher education courses. Students from this subject have gone on to study Film at prestigious universities including Ravensbourne, Bournemouth and Kings College London.

How do I find out more?

If you wish to find out more you can contact Verica Travar-Williams (Head of A Level Film) by emailing: verica.travar-williams@nscg.ac.uk

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